Kalanchoe luciae cv. Fantastic

Synonyms:

Kalanchoe albiflora
Kalanchoe aleuroides

Habitat:

K. luciae is native to KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Swaziland, Zimbabwe. The cultivar ‘Fantastic’ has nursery origin.

Description:

K. luciae ‘Fantastic’ is a variegated perennial succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The succulent is solitary or can form a clumps. The plant can reach up to 60 cm in height and the same in wide. It has a rosette of leaves and is completely glabrous but covered with a white mealy layer falling off with the age. Leaves are thick, obovate to oblong- spathulate, pale green in the middle and with creamy yellow splashes on the sides, and with stunning reddish hues on the margins. The blooming occurs in late winter early spring and flowers arise from the rosette. Flowers are erect, shortly pedunculated, tubular, pale yellow greenish in color. This plant for its color and particularity cannot be missing from your collection.

Cultivation:

This is a fast growing plant, easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 8 °C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.

Propagation:

The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use offsets. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to soak the seeds for 24 hours and the sow them in a sandy loam soil and keep them with a high level of humidity. By cutting you can use the root cuttings during the spring or semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Cut an offset and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can cut two or more offsets at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.

Curiosity:

The variegated form is a plant that has the stem or leaves with patches or stripes with two or more different colours, even distinct shades of green. The variegation is due to the loss of the ability to produce chlorophyll in some tissues of the plant, so that this tissue is no longer green. Chlorophyll-free tissues are usually white or pale yellow coloured (due to carotenoid pigments) in contrast to the normal green tissue.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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